Steve Davis previews Wednesday's match


I interviewed Pro Soccer Talk's Steve Davis today to preview the upcoming second leg between Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo. Below are excerpts on the interview.

On Sunday's match (first leg at Houston)

"Most of that game was played over 40 years in the midfield (due to field conditions and both teams playing a high line defensively) and there's not going to be a lot of pretty soccer. Kansas City's a physical team but Houston is too. You get a game of 50-50 balls and second balls. That kind of game on that day Houston was just better at it."

On Sporting KC's injuries (Nagamura, Cesar)

"You do have a guy who you can plug in (in a defensive/holding midfielder spot) Roger Espinoza. For everything that everyone has said about Graham Zusi, and by the way I agree he's had a fantastic year, I have said all along that I think the key to Sporting Kansas City's midfield is Roger Espinoza. His energy and workrate sets the pace for that high pressure. I think he's been so important this year so I suspect that he just moves back and sits in that spot a little bit."

"If Nagamura were ok, it wouldn't be such a big blow (injury to Cesar) because he can play that role very well (defensive/holding midfielder). That is a hole and when you start talking about taking very good players off the field. It's a little difference and just a little difference in a tight match could be the difference."

On Wednesday's match

"I think it's all about the first goal. I think if Houston gets that first goal, Kansas City are looking at trying to get three goals just to tie and four goals to win it outright against a very good defense. If Houston gets that first goal tonight, makes it a three goal lead in the series, I think it's kind of over. On the other hand, if KC gets the first goal, that stadium's going to come apart. I think if they get the first goal, they'll probably get the second goal too."